In the early 1970s, designers were regularly given the courtesy of “coming through the front door” when they decided to make a serious career change, writes Barbara Corcoran. Those of us who followed through quickly became the subjects of their “Pitch Fridays”, or loathed them as the only day on the calendar when the entire building could be used for one companywide brainstorm.
As a result, designers – from top-hatted Bob Proctor and his chocolatier affaires at Proctor & Gamble in the 1960s to Bruce Mau’s dinky apparel at Dickies in the 1980s and the line-of-business architects at Deloitte in the 1990s – were derided by many as the spawn of the “Wasp” (“Western”) elite.
Nothing is further from the truth. As I would discover in the stories of six, highly creative people who began their careers in those early years, behind each fact was a surprisingly young and trusting outsider. Here, they share the behind-the-scenes stories of their lives.
Sara Vanzandt is author of The Memphis Design Generation (Potter Beard), out now